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Ghost train (folklore)

Ghost metro train

Ghost train refers to a phantom vehicle in the form of a locomotive or train.


  • Silverpilen (Silver Arrow) is a Stockholm Metro train which features in several urban legends alleging sightings of the train's "ghost".[1]
  • The St. Louis Ghost Train, better known as the St. Louis Light, is visible at night along an old abandoned rail line in between Prince Albert and St. Louis, Saskatchewan. Two local students won an award for investigating and eventually duplicating the phenomenon, which they determined to be caused by the diffraction of distant vehicle lights.[2]
  • A phantom funeral train is said to run regularly from Washington, D.C. to Springfield, Illinois, around the time of the anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's death, stopping watches and clocks in surrounding areas as it passes.[3]
  • A horse-drawn phantom funeral procession that takes place outside Fort de Chartres in Prairie du Rocher, Illinois occurs when July 4 falls on a Friday, causing coyotes to howl in unison. The first report of this event is said to be from 1889 and has occurred in 2008, 2014, and will next occur next in 2025.[4]

Popular culture

Ghost Train is the name of numerous plays, films, TV series and episodes, albums, songs, and other creative works. Notable examples are listed at Ghost train.

  • The Ghost Train (play) was written in 1923 by playwright and actor Arnold Ridley. Based on the author's personal experience during a rail journey, it was a popular success. Ridley later went on to appear as a regular in the cult situation comedy, Dads Army
  • In Enid Blyton's 1948 Famous Five book Five Go Off to Camp, mysterious "spook trains" are exposed as a cover used by criminals.[5] The story was subsequently adapted for television[6] and radio.
  • The 1989 film Ghostbusters II features the Ghostbusters encountering a ghost train in the subway system of New York City while investigating the paranormal pink ooze underground.
  • The 1991 film Sometimes They Come Back features Southern Pacific 5021 as the Ghost Train with red smoke effects.
  • The Captain Planet and the Planeteers episode "The Blue Car Line" features Looten Plunder and Argos Bleak using holograms inside railroad cars in Australia to trick people into believing that the train is haunted, so Looten Plunder and Argos Bleak instead can make money on a massive freeway.[7]
  • The beginning of the 1997 direct-to-video comedy-drama fantasy film Casper: A Spirited Beginning is set on a "death train" bound for Ghost Central Station.[8]
  • In the 1996 Hey Arnold! episode "Haunted Train"
  • A few various Halloween themed episodes of Thomas & Friends feature some ghost trains in them, but they're just mainly made by the engines' imaginations and in some stories about them they tell.
  • Miner's Silver Ghost – Merle Haggard famously wrote and performed this song about a ghost train that appears when a cave-in occurs in a nearby mine.
  • 1981: Clive Cussler, Night Probe! One of the interesting little plot twists is the "ghost train" (a.k.a. The Manhattan Limited express passenger train), which plunged into the Hudson River on a dark stormy night. However, the train still makes its fated run on stormy nights, charging up the abandoned trackbed and suddenly vanishing on reaching the site of the bridge.
  • In The 1995 List of Are You Afraid of the Dark? episodes "The Tale of Train Magic" tell the story of the ghost train of 713.
  • Tweetsie Railroad features ghost train event that is themed to the fictional "Great Train of 1913". By 2015, it is now themed to "Monster Hunters".
  • The Ghost Train is a playable level and a boss in the Final Fantasy VI video game, which transports the souls of the dead to their "final location". The same boss appeared in the most recent remakes of Final Fantasy and Final Fantasy IV: The After Years as a tribute to the sixth chapter of the series.


  1. ^ af Klintberg, Bengt, Råttan i pizzan. Stockholm: Norstedts Förlag, 1992. ISBN 91-1-893831-0
  2. ^ Yanko, Dave. "Mystery Solved?". Virtual Saskatchewan. Retrieved November 21, 2010. 
  3. ^ "Abe Lincoln's Ghost Train". HallowFreaks. Archived from the original on October 5, 2006. Retrieved November 14, 2010. 
  4. ^ []
  5. ^ Five Go Off to Camp by Enid Blyton
  6. ^ The Famous Five – Five Go Off to Camp (TV episode 1996) – IMDb
  7. ^ "The Blue Car Line". TV.Com. January 25, 1992. Retrieved March 17, 2015. 
  8. ^ Casper: A Spirited Beginning